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Chicago has lost three straight so you know it’s excited to get its ace back on the mound in Dylan Cease. The Guardian’s offense has been extremely hot or cold, so it’s hard to know which one is going to show up. As for Chicago, the bats have been anemic, scoring three runs or fewer in six straight and seven of the past eight. Chicago is due and Cease is a problem for opponents, so because of that, we’re going to take the under and White Sox Moneyline.
Garcia’s 2022 record: (5-3)
If there’s been an offense that’s more hot or cold in baseball than the Guardians, it’s news on this end. Cleveland has scored two runs or fewer six times, going 1-5 in those contests. In their other five wins, they’ve scored a combined 55 runs (that’s 11 runs per game) and have won all five of them.
Cleveland was on both ends of that in Wednesday’s doubleheader, winning 11-1 in game one and then squeaking out a 2-1 victory in game two.
Jose Ramirez has led the charge, arguably the hottest hitter in baseball. Ramirez is second in batting average (.429), tied for eighth in home runs (4), leads the league in RBIs (20) and is third in OPS (1.360). Ramirez is 2-for-9 lifetime vs Cease with one double and one strikeout.
But Ramirez is far from the only Guardian who’s been on a hot streak. Owen Miller is hitting .500 (14-of-28) with seven doubles and Steven Kwan is hitting .387 (12-of-31) and ranks at the top of the league with .524 OBP.
As hot as the Guardians have been at times, that’s how cold Chicago has been the past week.
Over the past week, Luis Robert (1-for-20), Leury Garcia (1-for-12), Jose Abreu (2-for-19), Yasmani Grandal (2-for-14), Adam Engel (1-for-7), Eloy Jimenez (3-for-12) and Josh Harrison (0-for-10) are a combined 10-for-94 with just two home runs and four RBIs.
There have been a few batters who are still going strong, Tim Anderson is 8-for-19 and Jake Burger is 5-for-14 during that stretch with a combined two home runs and seven RBIs.
Cease doesn’t need a ton of support, but it sure wouldn’t hurt. The 26-year-old right-hander is 2-0 on the season with a 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 16 strikeouts through 10.2 innings of work, picking up victories over the Tigers and Rays. He hasn’t thrown more than 91 pitches in a start this year, but with the White Sox on a bit of a skid, don’t be surprised if an old-school manager like Tony La Russa doesn’t let him go as deep as he can in this one.
The x-factor to watch for Cleveland is probably the pitching, to see if Zach Plesac can do his best to keep pace with Cease. Plesac is no slouch in his own right and his win-loss record (0-1) doesn’t nearly do justice to how well he’s pitched this season.
In his first start, Plesac threw 5.2 shutout innings, giving up just three hits and now walks while striking out three batters. He picked up a loss in his second start, but even then he gave up just two runs in 5.1 innings to a pesky San Francisco Giants team.
In all, he has a 1.64 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and seven strikeouts compared to just one walk.
The x-factor for Chicago has to be a batter to see if they can get going. We will pick Gavin Sheets, who has been one of the lone bright spots in recent days. The designated hitter has hits in three straight games, going 3-for-10 with a one home run, one double and two RBIs.
He’s gotten more time with Andrew Vaughn not having played since the weekend, so he’s not a bad bet to keep it going.
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|Chicago White Sox vs Cleveland Guardians Information|
|Teams||Chicago White Sox vs Cleveland Guardians|
|Location||Progressivie Field, Cleveland, Indiana|
|Time||Thursday, April 21, 1:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||Bally Sports Great Lakes, NBC Sports Chicago|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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